For every sure-bet in movie casting, there are scores of questionable decisions on whether an actor can handle a certain role. And that’s where the screen test comes in.
A screen test provides the opportunity for a director and producer to determine whether a specific part should go to an actor who might not be the obvious choice for the role. David O. Selznick memorably shot scores of screen tests to find the right actors that would bring Margaret Mitchell’s characters to life in the film version of “Gone with the Wind” – except for the role of Rhett Butler, which was always envisioned for Clark Gable. Several decades later, George Lucas brought together a line-up of promising under-the-radar talent to test for his “Star Wars.”
BOOTLEG FILES 679: “Main Street to Broadway” (1953 all-star film).
LAST SEEN: We cannot confirm the last public exhibition of this film.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Only as a bootleg.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Never made available for U.S. commercial home entertainment release.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not for a long time.
One of the most curious flops of the 1950s was an all-star feature called “Main Street to Broadway.” Originally intended as a fundraising vehicle for a nonprofit devoted to the promotion of live theater, the film went through an excessively ambitious pre-production cycle but emerged as a predictable and strangely unsatisfactory effort that fell considerably short of its lofty mission. Continue reading →